30pc income jump for farmers in 2011
The booming returns in farming were confirmed by the CSO last week when they revealed that agricultural incomes increased by more than 30pc in 2011.
This follows a strong recovery in 2010 after a year of disastrous returns in 2009.
But despite the 66pc surge in the operating surplus over the last two years, the total for 2011 is still more than €50m or 2pc lower than the total surplus in 2007. This is largely due to €667m or 16pc increase in costs.
Key among these were feeds which were up by €150m, fertilisers by more than €130m, contract work by nearly €50m and fuel, energy and oil costs up by €130m.
The main driver of the results is the €6.6bn record output for the sector, up 17pc on 2010.
All-time record prices drove cattle sales up 20pc, but increased output combined with strong prices boosted both the pig and dairy sectors' returns. While the average farming income across the EU was up 7pc, farmers in key production regions such as Holland, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium experienced a decline in returns.
The IFA claimed the recovery will not be sustained in 2012 as farm incomes suffer from a combination of price drops, reduced output due to poor weather and rapidly rising input costs.